Masking in Social Network Sites - Translating a Real-World Social Practice to the Online Domain

IT - Information Technology 2011 (1): 26-34.

8 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2013

See all articles by B. van den Berg

B. van den Berg

eLaw@Leiden, Center for Law in the Information Society

Ronald E. Leenes

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society; Tilburg Law School; Tilburg University

Date Written: Jan 2011

Abstract

Research shows that most social network sites contain serious privacy risks for users. Many of these risks revolve around users’ inability to know exactly who the “audience” is that witnesses their online behaviours. In this article we argue that in the offline world individuals regularly use the strategy of “masking” to hide their visibility when the composition of their audience is unknown. We claim that “masking” should also be facilitated in social network sites to enhance users’ privacy-protection. However, SNSs’ platform design, focused on self-presentation, makes its implementation difficult.

Keywords: social network sites, SNS, privacy, audience segregation, masking

Suggested Citation

van den Berg, B. and Leenes, Ronald E., Masking in Social Network Sites - Translating a Real-World Social Practice to the Online Domain (Jan 2011). IT - Information Technology 2011 (1): 26-34.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2295310

B. Van den Berg (Contact Author)

eLaw@Leiden, Center for Law in the Information Society ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

Ronald E. Leenes

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society

NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

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